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Of course you don’t need an editor. Wait, is there a comma after “Of course”?

Of course you don’t need an editor. Wait, is there a comma after “Of course”?

How am I supposed to know when to use italics and when to use quotes?

Do they teach that in English class? No. How about in the masters in literature? Doubtful. Where are you supposed to learn how to format your book?

How about from an editor?

The Apple Pie Hubbub was a significant novel for me, because that’s when I first started using verbs.  — Steve Martin

My first books were written, “just for fun.” I wasn’t planning on doing crazy stuff with them like, you know, have an editor go through it. It’s just for kicks. The mistakes and incorrect verb tenses will give it more authenticity.

Just chalk that up to a beginning and naive and over-confident and “I don’t care about book sales” writer. Yes, I think I’m safely none of those anymore.

Now that I’m a writer writer, I want there to be accuracy, correct grammar tense, and Oxford commas. I don’t really know what that means other than if I list things like 1, 2, and 3, that I should put a comma after the second thing. No one really cares about that stuff, but then again, are we going for professional or amateur?

This is what an edited page looks like.

From The Secret of Kite Hill.

Editing with Leah McClellan

Editing with Leah McClellan

I didn’t know that internal thoughts should have italics. It’s good to know because my books have lots of internal thoughts. Is that a good thing? I wonder if maybe there should be more action and less internalizing? 😉

I’m just getting rolling with Leah’s edits, but at this point it’s already so clear how important it is to have someone else with an educated, experienced, and critical eye.

Did you notice that Oxford comma? 😉 See? I’m already a better writer. Thanks to the editor.

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